Feb. 4: The district administration has declared the stretch of the Brahmaputra between Kachari and Uzan Bazar ghats a “silent zone” after high court judges complained against the rampant use of loudspeakers by river vessels, especially at night.
This stretch of the riverbank houses the official quarters of Gauhati High Court Chief Justice and several judges.
The office of the Kamrup (metro) deputy commissioner issued the order in accordance with provisions under Section 8 of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Act, 2000, that prohibits use of horns by any automobiles, bursting of crackers, use of loudspeakers, high volume sound systems, particularly at night. The order will remain in force till further notice.
Sources said the administration issued the order after being instructed by Dispur.
Areas within a 200m radius of the high court and the Kamrup district and sessions judges’ courts were already declared silent zones through an earlier order. That order effectively banned vehicles from using horns rampantly on the roads around the courts to ensure that traffic noise did not disturb courts in session.
“It has been noticed that ships ferrying passengers and other goods use loudspeakers over and above horns. This creates problems for the judges while working in their official residences, particularly at night. So the stretch of the river from the deputy commissioner’s office at Kachari to Uzan Bazar has been declared a silent zone,” a source in the deputy commissioner’s office said.
Instructions were also issued to the senior superintendent of police, SP (traffic) and others to strictly enforce this order and the one issued earlier and take punitive action against violators. “If anyone is found violating the order, strict action will be initiated under relevant sections of law, which may lead to licence cancellation,” the source said.
There are around a hundred motorboats and ships ferrying passengers over the Brahmaputra to and from North Guwahati, Kurua and other places. These vessels had came under the scanner after many were found using loudspeakers, violating sound limits, especially at night.
There have also been complaints against the operators about overloading of boats.